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Pair steal pontoon boat, tracked to lakefront restaurant

12:02 PM, Jan 24, 2013   |    comments
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Winter Haven, Florida -- Two people caught attempting to steal a pontoon boat were arrested Tuesday after they were followed taking it to a local lakefront restaurant.

Winter Haven Police say Gregory Manning spotted his 2001 Crestliner Pontoon boat in the middle of Lake Howard Tuesday morning after he had discovered it was missing an hour earlier. He followed the boat and its occupants to Old Man Frank's where the pair had landed.

When Manning approached Michael Walker and Christian Hines, Walker told him the boat drifted away from the boathouse -- where it was reportedly secured the night before -- when they climb on to get a fishing lure.

Manning called police and Walker, 27, was arrested. Hines, 19, had fled the scene before police arrived, but she was tracked down a short time later.

Both have been charged with grand theft, burglary of an unoccupied structure and criminal mischief for damaging the dash while trying to remove the ignition. Hines was also charged with using a false name to officers. She was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for larceny petit theft.

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